‘Casino’ highlights SkyCity deal
A cardboard casino which spent the day in Aotea Square is now on its way to Wellington.
The fake casino is designed to draw attention to a deal that will give SkyCity more machines.
The Government is effectively allowing a new casino to be built in Auckland, by allowing SkyCity an extra 510 gaming machines and tables, Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says.
The party built a cardboard casino in Aotea Square on Monday. It was filled with 230 imitation poker machines, 240 player stations and 40 gambling tables to illustrate the size of the deal.
‘‘The 510 additional gambling machines and tables gifted to SkyCity would be, on their own, the third-largest casino in New Zea- land,’’ Ms Turei says. ‘‘That’s a casino which wouldn’t exist without this deal.’’
In a $402 million deal signed with the Government in July, SkyCity will design, build and operate a convention centre, receiving in exchange an extension on its licence to 2048 and the allowance for the additional machines and tables.
The deal has bypassed legislation and ignores advice that indicates the damage problem gambling causes to communities, Ms Turei says.
‘‘The Gambling Act outlaws casino growth in order to protect New Zealanders from problem gambling,’’ she says.
‘‘But the pokies-for-conventioncentre deal gives SkyCity a special waiver allowing it to grow, despite officials warning that about 6500 kids will be harmed by the additional problem gambling generated by the deal.’’
The cardboard casino will be presented to the Government in Wellington.
Ignoring advice, left: Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says a Sky City deal has bypassed legislation and ignores advice that indicates the damage problem gambling causes to communities.
Cardboard casino: Aotea Square was transformed into a Cardboard Casino by the Green Party in protest of the proposed SkyCity Convention Centre.
Go to aucklandcityharbournews.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see the cardboard casino come together.